Thiruvananthapuram: Amid the rising attacks on Indians in US, a Catholic priest from Kerala was attacked by an Italian on Sunday when the former was leading the Sunday mass in a Melbourne church. “The priest, Tomy Mathew, was stabbed in the neck with a kitchen knife by the Italian during the mass at a Catholic church in Melbourne suburbs,” said Thiruvallom Bhasi, editor of a Melbourne daily who is currently visiting here. “While the ceremony was on, the accused came forward and shouted that since he (Mathew) is an Indian, he cannot conduct the mass,” Bhasi added. Bhasi said the accused was arrested by Melbourne Police. The police are insisting that it is not a hate crime, but witnesses beg to differ. They insist that it is a racially-motivated attack on the young priest. The priest is now said to be out of danger.